Audi A3 plug-in hybrid coming in 2014, CEO Rupert Stadler says

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 8, 2012

A plug-in hybrid version will join Audi AG’s lineup for its redesigned A3 in 2014, CEO Rupert Stadler said during a preview of the new compact car at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. Audi didn’t mention what A3 body style will receive the plug-in technology. Audi has also yet to confirm if this model will be offered in the U.S. Audi offers to “bring the full range of technologies.”

Consumers would be delighted to know that Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen has every intention for this vehicle to return to the U.S. This September is when the next-generation A3 two-door hatchback arrives in European showrooms in September.

This offers a glimpse at the sedan version that will arrive in the U.S. market for model year 2014. This is expected to be the replacement for the outgoing 4-door hatchback. The next-generation A3 is lighter than its predecessor and will be built off VW Group's MQB modular platform, which is also the same one that underpins the VW Golf.

In 2003, the outgoing A3 was launched. It later arrived as a 2006 model in the U.S. Audi sold 6,561 units of its A3 four-door hatchback in 2011, slightly higher than the 6,561 units sold in 2010. This is believed to the No. 4-selling car lineup, following the A4 sedan, A5 coupe and A6 sedan. It’s only just a bit ahead of the A7, which boasts a sleek sedan.

Audi’s new A3 has been designed with succinct lines as well as with compact dimensions. Its 4,237-mm length and 1,421-mm height are practically similar as that of its predecessor model. Yet, it has sportier proportions, with a wheelbase that measures 23 mm to 2,601 mm more. Its front overhang is shorter while its width measures 12 mm more at 1,777 mm.

The A3 has a progressive formal language that visualizes the passion with which the company’s engineers build automobiles. It has a defining element at its front: a sculptural single-frame radiator grille sporting six corners and the engine hood continuing its lines. There are also large air intakes at its front, reflecting its engines’ power.

Moreover, it has flat headlights that integrate a lower edge with a wave shape. The Audi can deliver xenon plus units as an option, too. The LED bands forming the daytime running lights also make the A3 unmistakable, most especially at night.

Meanwhile, on the sides, the delineated tornado line, which is another classic Audi design element, gives structure below the windows. This dynamic line sharply rises upward.

Lending a powerful appearance to the new A3 are dynamically flared metal surfaces as well as large wheel arches. Its slender C-pillars’ low angles and its roof, which sweeps back to a modest spoiler, communicate the athletic look of a coupe.

As for its rear styling, the spoiler edge above its diffuser emphasizes the new premium compact’s width. The split taillights – which boast LED technology when you opt for the xenon plus headlights – showcase a variation on the front headlights’ inner architecture. Meanwhile, the car’s trunk lid features a sculpted, 3D look. Also, the new A3 has one or two tailpipes at its diffuser insert’s left side, depending on the type of engine.

Lastly, you can choose from 13 available paint colors. You can also opt for a high-gloss package, which offers visual highlights. Meanwhile, the S line exterior package featuring distinctive accents, is great if you are sports-oriented.

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